Critical Requirements

All admitted students are required to provide documentation verifying completion of specific requirements. The requirements set forth are mandated for all health professions students. As a master's, doctoral, post-master's, or post-baccalaureate student, you must complete a background check, drug screening and health clearance verifications. Clinical clearance will be granted to you when you have completed all requirements.

Use the Castle Branch Student Immunization Tracker to submit and track your health requirements. The Immunization Tracker (Medical Document Manager) walks you through the process of fulfilling immunization and health care documentation requirements. See the student guide on Blackboard for specific submission instructions.

Note: Pre-registration is not required. Upon placing your order, you will create your unique profile and generate your login credentials.

Compliance Summary

The Compliance Summary is for you to show to preceptors/faculty members responsible for your clinical practicums to verify that you have met the requirements. If you are unable to produce a valid compliance summary, the preceptor/faculty member will exclude you from all patient contact. Your inability to participate in required clinical experiences may be cause for withdrawing you from the course or may jeopardize your successful completion of the course and prevent your progression in the curriculum.

UC College of Nursing requires a background check and urine drug screen for all students upon matriculation into any graduate nursing program. The specific background package will vary depending on the state in which the student resides. Some clinical sites may require subsequent background checks and drug screening in order to participate in a rotation at their facility. If the clinical site does not perform these on behalf of the student, any required additional screenings are able to be purchased through Castle Branch at the student's expense. Should a site request this, please reach out to your clinical site coordinator for further instruction.

Students starting clinical in their first semester of enrollment should consult their clinical site coordinator to coordinate purchasing of their critical requirements package.

The college asks all students to refrain from purchasing a critical requirements package until the first day of course instruction for any degree or certificate program.


MSN and DNP Programs

Critical Requirements Submission Timeline
Term of 1st Enrollment
Last Day to Place Order
Deadline to Complete Requirements
Dec. 15
March 31
Spring April 30
July 31
Summer July 1
Nov. 30
Note: Students enrolled in the BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia program follow a different timeline and will receive guidance related to critical requirements in their welcome information as they prepare to begin the program.

Certificate Programs

Critical Requirements Submission Timeline
Term of 1st Enrollment
Last Day to Place Order
Deadline to Complete Requirements
Sept. 30
Sept. 30
Spring Feb. 15
Feb. 15
Summer June 15
June 15

Vaccination Requirements & Exemption Protocols

The Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule was issued on November 5, 2021 by Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS now mandates that most clinical partners report health care provider vaccination data into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) surveillance system. This rule requires clinical partners to report data for all health care personnel in its facilities, including students and faculty. Clinical partners with unvaccinated health care personnel in their facilities could encounter incremental penalties that could result in the loss of federal funding.  

Please note that each clinical partner outlines their own vaccination requirements and exemption protocols. They make final determinations regarding vaccination requirements and exemption protocols. Contact your individual clinical site coordinator to discuss your facility's COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

You must be compliant with all required critical requirements to engage in clinical activity.  COVID-19 vaccination requirements and exemption protocols are at the discretion of the facility where clinical activity is occurring. With this said, it is strongly encouraged that you upload your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, along with your other critical requirements, to your profile in the authorized method of submission to ensure that no delays occur in your ability to engage in clinical activity. A complete and up-to-date profile will support appropriate academic planning.


Refer to the student instruction document for more details concerning placing your order. Take the time to review the following documents, as they will be useful in facilitating the completion of your critical requirements.

To access UC College of Nursing's CastleBranch portal, visit

For additional help getting started with CastleBranch, follow the below link to watch short video tutorials that provide answers to frequently asked questions:

For further assistance related to critical requirements, email

Video Resources

Check out our YouTube playlist with quick videos on critical requirements.